World of Warcraft is now allowing real money to be used to purchase specific items in an experiment to see whether it boosts the economy for the MMO. It comes as player numbers are declining, with Blizzard reporting 1.3 million people stopped playing the game in the first three months of 2013, and an estimated user base of around 8.3 million compared to the 2010 peak of 12 million.
The experiment was revealed by Community Manager Zarhym in a message on the WoW forums. The first item is The Enduring Elixir of Wisdom, which boots experience rewards by 100%. It’s currently only available on the game’s public test servers, and to use it you need to be controlling a character of Level 85 or above.